Latinos Can’t be Racist?
As I watched the news this morning about yet another story trying to profile George Zimmerman, the alleged shooter in the Treyvon Martin case, the reporter asked a former neighbor if Zimmerman was a racist. The white neighbor replied that she didn’t think so and quickly added that he was a minority himself.
What has perplexed me the most about the Martin case is the wild misconception that just because this man is Hispanic or a minority automatically exempts him from being a racist.
Racism in the Hispanic community and in Latin America in general is deep seeded and perhaps even more dangerous than racism coming from a white population. Why? Because it’s generally acceptable to have stereotypical views about blacks, or even other Hispanics from different countries than ours. It’s usually not condemned outright. The general population seems to forget that Latin America itself was built on the backs of slaves brought over by the Spanish or the Portuguese. Historically, we have had the same issues with racism as in the United States.
It seems that we are uptight when racism is directed towards us as a group, and yet, individual groups of Hispanics don’t think twice about making racist jokes, especially in tight knit communities. We have made strides but the truth is racism is just as engrained in our culture as it is in any other. Many of us have made strides and just like any other society, we have moved forward and acknowledge racism in our culture, but it still exists.
My first post here discussed how my grandfather was a racist. He was Cuban and blacks to him were personas non-grata. We even encountered a failed “smash and grab” in Miami by a group of black kids 20 years ago and in that instance my grandmother only kept screaming in the car “kill the n*” . When we had lunch at a restaurant the next day, he told the story to the young waiter who said that he was a hero and that he should’ve killed the “m…f…n…”. This same kind of attitude may be the same one that Zimmerman had when he pulled that trigger.
I don’t know what ethnicity George Zimmerman is. Reality is, it doesn’t really matter. This man should NOT be excused for his behavior just because he was Hispanic or any other minority. Racism is racism, it doesn’t matter the package it comes in.